Being a Nanny in Madrid

You have arrived in Madrid to start your internship. But after a while, and after making the most of the delicious food and the exciting nightlife, paying for tickets to the Prado and paying your previous month’s rent, you find yourself with less money that you thought. So, why don’t you find a part-time job?
The city of Madrid has an abundance of jobs for students, particularly in restaurants and shops, where English is especially sought after. But if you fancy something a little different (and pays rather well), I would recommend becoming an au pair.

My experience of looking after children didn’t exactly start with looking for nanny jobs. Originally, I was starting to try and create a clientele for English tutoring. I already have my TEFL certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), so I was trying to apply and practise what I had already learnt through these classes. I would say to you that this is a good idea; however you have to be very organised and prepared for everything. I used the website Mil Anuncios to advertise my English classes, and at the start I was actually receiving messages from lots of people excited to learn English for a low price.

But after receiving a message from an au pair company, I decided it was best to stop the search for prospective English students. The company offered me €650-700 a month to look after three young children – 2, 3 and 5 years old – for 3-4 hours a day, 4 days a week. Also, it managed to fit in perfectly with the office hours I was already working at the translation agency.

Honestly, I didn’t have a lot of experience with looking after such young children before starting, and this was nerve-racking. The job consisted from picking the kids up from their respective schools, being sure to hold their hands tightly when crossing the road, feeding them, changing them (and also nappies), to playing with them and separating them when one decides to bite the other. It’s not easy, and it’s also an incredible responsibility. But once you have a routine, everything tends to fall into place, and even the children get used to your routine too.

What's more, speaking English with the children is essential, so you don't necessarily even need to know Spanish. Normally with nanny jobs, the parents are expecting English to be the main language that you speak with their children. Many times I would find that they would suddenly change from speaking English to Spanish with me. "¡Cógelo!" and "¡Quiero un cookie!" would result in me saying "No! Ask me in English first!".

As a student myself, I can understand completely why at the beginning, you would notice how much you’d be earning and decide to apply straight away. But now, after two months of looking after these children, I don’t find myself thinking about the money I’m earning, but about the feeling of fulfillment that they give me. The feeling you experience when you’ve just taught them something in English, or when they don’t want to say goodbye to you at the end of the day, just makes you want to stay there for longer.

So, if you are looking for or intend to look for another job while you are here in Madrid, if you have some experience or just like children, I would recommend you do the same thing I did. It could be for the money at the start, but if you have the same luck with your family as I did with mine, it will end up being something you look forward to doing every day.


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